Saturday was a day of almosts, Dudley almost won into Grade 6 with a 2nd in Grade 5 agility, Suzi almost won into Grade 5 with a 2nd in Grade 4 agility (shame they only placed to 1st) and Thomas almost got a clear round. The weather was wet and some of the equipment had just been repainted but without the gritty stuff so was a bit like an ice rink and while the course as such wasn't dangerous you had to really handle your dogs properly to prevent accidents, some handlers were moaning that it was dangerous but still working their dogs and still pulling of the contact equipment before waiting to see that the dog was safely on/off. In my view if you think it's dangerous you don't run your dog FULL STOP. I know the Dudley isn't one for hareing across the dog walk so was happy to run him but made sure that he was going on very straight and very steady (at this point I didn't know that the equipment had been painted wrong, if I had I may have had a rethink, all I was aware of was that dogs coming at an angle were slipping off the dogwalk which I put down to the wet weather) I started to have an inkling that something may have been wrong with the equipment when Dudley struggled to get over the top of the A frame, luckily he got a purchase on a slat and scrambled over, but we finished the course clear and he came 2nd.
Because of the problem with the equipment one of the large dog agility classes had to eventually, after being restarted 3 or 4 times, be turned into a special jumping class and the classes that followed it in the ring had to be transferred to another ring, luckily by then a different set of contact equipment had arrived as these classes were all my dog's ones. I felt sorry for the poor organisers as it wasn't really their fault but boy did they get some stick and I'm afraid it brought the worst out in some competitiors.
The weather in the afternoon was drier and brighter but also hot and humid so by the time Duds came to do his 2nd run he'd had enough and just ambled round :)
The littlies had a lovely jumping course in the morning and part of in involved crossing a box diagonally then turning left to cross diagonally the other way, this was poor Tom's almost clear round as I forgot to tell him to turn left and he kept turning right so I tried to fiddle him through the gap but didn't give him enough room so he went over the jump again but finished the rest of the course so well that I wasn't worried about the E at all. I remembered to tell Suzi left and she got a lovely clear although just out of the placings.
Tom was very wild in his last run of the day and it didn't go well, although he got his contacts and nearly all his weaves (we'd been E'd so many times by the time we got there I didn't put him back in but just carried on) Suzi did a lovely clear although a bit slow across the dog walk which I think is where we lost out on the win but she did get the judge's special but whether this was for her or because the judge felt sorry for me when I was running the loony ginger one I'm not sure :)
Sunday dawned a bit brighter and drier and luckily Dudley's first run was first in the ring, this was his grade 5 agility and I walked the course thinking that it was a lovely course but a bit fast for Dudley so was only hoping for a clear round and after seeing who was there I didn't get my hopes up at all but I have to admit that I am trying something to change my attitude as I've been guilty of walking courses saying my dog can't do that for too long. I stood in the queue and told Dudley we were going to win and instead of worrying the he was going to bite me I ran him as if he wouldn't and .......he didn't. He was the best dog on the day and if other people were getting caught out by dog walk to tunnel then that's their problem not mine he beat them and they were pleased for me, well some were anyway. Now I've aways said that if/when he got to grade 6 I would retire him so I'm going to finish this season and next year I'm going to see what happens. I may enter him for the odd class or do allsorts with him I haven't decided yet but to be honest a lot of his classes this year have been 5-7 so he wont actually be competing against anyone different next year it's just that I wish he was a small and not a medium as he does struggle a bit if the ground is uneven. Now I'm sitting here getting all emotional over something that may all change when I find that he doesn't want to stop now he's won into grade 6.
Sorry if you were hoping to read about Tom but I'm so chuffed about Dudley he's taking second place for a few days :)